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IQALUIT, NU: STRONG BLIZZARD TO BLAME FOR LACK OF MUNICIPAL SERVICES IN NUNAVUT CAPITAL
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City officials in Iqaluit, Nunavut were forced to suspend municipal services, including water delivery, after a powerful winter storm made road travel extremely difficult this past weekend.
A blizzard warning was issued by Environment Canada on Saturday after winds that reached up to 60km/hr were recorded in the northern city.
According to Iqaluit's Mayor, Madeleine Redford, drifts reaching up to 12 feet high could be found on some of the city's roads.
"Approximately 470 homes or 25% of all units are on trucked services," said Redfern, referring to houses that depend on the city to deliver their water and remove their sewage.
Thankfully these units did not have to wait too long for services to be resumed.
"The blizzard has ended, so this morning we're doing the last of the road clearing, said Redfern, "Water delivery services are back up and running."
While emergencies like these are never pleasant, they are somewhat expected for the residents of Iqaluit.
"We get several blizzards in any given winter," the mayor said, "They can vary in length from a few hours to a few days. The majority of people recognize and are prepared for blizzards. Most people are at home and as a result are taking the necessary care and precautions."
The city tries to keep emergency services active 24/7 during such storms, however there remain limits as to what they can do when up against the elements.
"If the weather is so bad that visibility is zero or drifts are very big we will sometimes get one of our road crews with the loader to try and clear the snow so emergency vehicles like ambulance or fire trucks can do their job but we've got to take our emergency services staff safety in to consideration," said Redfern.
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